Jake Conroy
Born1976 (age 47–48)
Connecticut, United States
Occupation(s)Design coordinator, Animal rights activist
Known forSea Defence Alliance
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
The Cranky Vegan

Jake Conroy is an American animal rights activist and vegan[1] who was involved with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC),[2][3] an international campaign to force the closure of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), an animal-testing company based in the UK and US, for which he designed and maintained the SHAC websites.[4][5] Conroy had previously been a co-founder and activist for an anti-whaling group Ocean Defense International, formally called Sea Defence Alliance,[6] and director of Northwest Animal Rights Network.[7]

He has been recognized as top 100 most influential vegans by Plant Based News.[8]


Conroy joined the animal rights movement in 1995 following an attack by the Animal Liberation Front on a restaurant in Bellevue, Washington near to where he lived.[9] He has been involved in a wide range of activism since graduating from art school volunteering with and organize various campaigns on local, regional, national and international levels.[10][11]

He was influenced by both his mother's involvement with Anti-Vietnam War Protests and his early interests in Hip Hop, Hardcore and Punk rock.[1][12]

Conroy works for Rainforest Action Network, an international environmental organization whose pressure campaigns help enact responsible corporate policies. He was featured in Joaquin Phoenix's 'The Animal People' documentary[13] about the SHAC7, and 'What the Health', a follow-up to the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy.[14]

He also co-founded Bite Back magazine which promotes the causes of the animal liberation movement and the Animal Liberation Front. He also helped create the popular food blog Plant Based on a Budget and has worked on justice campaign for people with HIV/AIDS, & anti-death penalty campaigns.[1]

Ocean Defense International

Aged 22 years old, campaigning against the Makah whale hunt,[15][16] as co-founder and Vice President of Sea Defence Alliance/Ocean Defense International,[17][18] Conroy was arrested by U.S. Coast Guard for obstructing it while piloting a 19 foot RHIB. It was the first ever disruption of a whale hunt in US coastal waters.

By directly putting themselves between the hunted and hunter in various vessels, Jake and ODI reduced the anticipated kill of 20 Pacific Gray whales down to one.[19][20]

SHAC campaign

On May 26, 2004, fifteen armed FBI agents broke small home in Pinole, California with Federal Air Marshals circling in helicopters.[21] Described as "target[ing] thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies in attacks designed to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)",[22] of East Millstone near Princeton, Conroy was among seven animal rights advocates who were arrested in May 2004 (dubbed the SHAC7) and charged with trying to disrupt the work of the New Jersey pharmaceutical company. In its drug testing, HLS, a British firm, used dogs, primates and rats in vivisection experiments. "The group liken[ed] its activities to the Underground Railroad and the Boston Tea Party, and advocat[ing] protests, letter-writing, and what it call[ed] publicity stunts to disrupt Huntingdon Life Sciences".[23]

In 2006, branded as a "domestic terrorist", Conroy was sentenced to 4 years in prison for his involvement in the campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences as a member of SHAC USA,[24] one of the most successful animal rights campaigns in history leading to HLS's market value falling by 90%.[21] It was the first use of the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act.[25][26][27] Their appeal was denied.[28]

SHAC introduced targeted strategy to direct action, including a knowledge of modern business organization which understood that businesses are sustained by a wide selection of secondary and tertiary businesses including insurers, investors, even cafeteria suppliers, and targeted its actions at them as well.[21] Conroy's use of the internet was key to its success.[29]

The Animal Enterprise Protection Act had been signed into law by President George W. Bush to provide animal research facilities with federal protection against violent acts by "animal rights extremists", defining “Animal Enterprise Terrorism" as "physical disruption to the functioning of an animal enterprise by intentionally stealing, damaging, or causing the loss of any property (including animals or records)."[30]

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ a b c Total Liberation: The Power and Promise of Animal Rights and the Radical Earth Movement, David Naguib Pellow, University of Minnesota Press 2014, ISBN 9781452943046
  2. ^ Vegetarians and Vegans in America Today, Karen Iacobbo, Michael Iacobbo, Praeger Publishers, 2006. ISBN 9780275990169
  3. ^ The Animal Research War, P. Michael Conn, James V. Parker, Palgrave Macmillan, 12 May 2008. ISBN 9780230611993
  4. ^ American Law Reports Annotations and Cases. ALR federal 2d · Volume 50 2010 p.682
  5. ^ Intelligence Report: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Issues 105-108 2002. Klanwatch"
  6. ^ Violence and Terrorism 04/05, Thomas J. Badey, 2003 McGraw-Hill/Dushkin p.105
  7. ^ "NARN – Northwest Animal Rights Network – The Future is Vegan".
  8. ^ "REVEALED: Top 100 Most Influential Vegans of 2017". 8 April 2017.
  9. ^ This Country Must Change Essays on the Necessity of Revolution in the USA [1], Craig Rosebraugh, Jalil A. Muntaqim, Jonathan Paul, Arissa Media Group 2009 ISBN 9781936900039
  10. ^ For the Wild: Ritual and Commitment in Radical Eco-Activism, Sarah M. Pike, University of California Press, 2017 ISBN 9780520294967
  11. ^ Rebel Music Resistance Through Hip Hop and Punk, Information Age Publishing, Incorporated 2015, Editors: Anthony J. Nocella, Martha Diaz, Priya Parmar, Scott Robertson ISBN 9781623969110
  12. ^ TEffective Activism & State Repression: An Interview with Jake Conroy on how the SHAC Campaign nearly bankrupt one of the largest animal testing labs in the world [2]
  13. ^ Lennard, Natasha (December 12, 2019). "In New Documentary, Animal Rights Activists Prosecuted as Terrorists". The Intercept.
  14. ^ "Facts". WHAT THE HEALTH.
  15. ^ WHALE HUNT UPDATE: By Josh Harper, September 08, 1999
  16. ^ Makah Indians Celebrate Whale Hunt, Associated PressTuesday, May 18, 1999 [3]
  17. ^ Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives, May 18, 1999 Page 31
  18. ^ "1999 Whale & Dolphin News - Whales on the Net". www.whales.org.au.
  19. ^ "Jake Conroy [International Animal Rights Conference: 10.-13.9.2015 - Luxembourg]". ar-conference.org.
  20. ^ Authenticity, p.68 Yolanda van Ede, Lit Verlag 2005, ISBN 9783825887544
  21. ^ a b c I Fought The Law: A Review Of Terrorists Or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections On The Liberation Of Animals, Edited By Steven Best & Anthony J. Nocella Ii, Matthew Liebman, Journal of Animal Law 151 (2005)[4]
  22. ^ Laville, Sandra. "Animal rights extremists still targeting lab" Archived 27 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 24 December 2008
  23. ^ Hanley, Robert (May 27, 2004). "Seven Animal Rights Advocates Arrested" – via NYTimes.com.
  24. ^ Stabile, Nicholas C. (January 20, 2016). "Jake Conroy".
  25. ^ Al-Qaeda Goes to College: Impact of the War on Terror on American Higher Education, James Castagnera. 2009 ABC-CLIO ISBN 9780313364297
  26. ^ Battleground: Environment [2 Volumes], Robin Morris Collin, ABC-CLIO 2008. ISBN 9780313082405
  27. ^ Press Guide to Radical Politics in the United States, Susan Burgess, Kate Leeman, SAGE Publications, 2016. ISBN 9781452292267
  28. ^ Animal Law: Welfare, Interests, and Rights Front Cover, David S. Favre. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 9 Dec 2014
  29. ^ Green Is the New Red, An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege (2011) by Will Potter p.1913 City Lights Publishers, ISBN 0872865525
  30. ^ Radical Animal Rights Group Convicted of Inciting Violence, Stalking, March 9, 2006 [5]
  31. ^ "UNITED STATES v. FULLMER (2009) | FindLaw".
  32. ^ Animal Legal and Historical Center, Michigan State University College of Law [6]